Rangers fans probably don’t want Borna Barisic near the XI on Sunday

Rangers fans probably don’t want Borna Barisic near the XI on Sunday
Real Betis' Spanish midfielder #38 Assane Diao vies with Rangers' Croatian defender #31 Borna Barisic during the UEFA Europa League 1st round day 6 group C football match between Real Betis and Glasgow Rangers at the Benito Villamarin stadium in Seville on December 14, 2023. (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP) (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images)

There is no denying Borna Barisic’s heart has been elsewhere for a long time – and word is he’s closing in on a move to Trabzonspor this summer.

But the previously-untouchable Croatian left back may yet start on Sunday, and if his recent record against Celtic is anything to go by, or his performances, it’s a selection Rangers fans are dead against.

The problem with Barisic is that he took 15+ months to finally start delivering for Rangers (autumn 2019), and pretty much since February 2022 and that diabolical Old Firm at Parkhead in which his display was so poor he was removed at half time, he really hasn’t been at the races much at all for the club.

But he may well get the green light if Ridvan Yilmaz doesn’t make it, and that is definitely a concern for Rangers.

Philippe Clement was initially a big fan of Barisic, or at least, he was picking him a lot, but the turn of the year saw a change of that guard and it’s been Ridvan’s slot to lose.

Barisic doesn’t have any intention of being a deputy, seeks his move away on a Bosman, and the bottom went out of his performances for Rangers a long time ago.

Our review of his performance v Hibs was that he was decent for width and overlapping runs, and even peppered a few crosses in, but the defensive side of his game was weak to non-existent and he was significantly culpable for the goal, albeit he wasn’t alone.

In short, if a lowly Hibs winger Myziane Maolida can tear him to shreds with ease, what joy would Celtic’s attackers get from him?

Doesn’t bear thinking about? Are we being overdramatic?

Maybe. What we know is Barisic’s guts for these big occasions seems AWOL these days, and there’s a good reason Yilmaz nabbed the slot from him completely.

What we really hope is the Turk is fit and Clement doesn’t even have to consider deploying Barisic. Yilmaz had a very good game at Parkhead and we would absolutely love him to be fit.

Because we’d be very concerned by Barisic getting the nod – that said, if Clement trusts him for this occasion, we’d very much just have to hope that, once again, Philippe Clement knows a lot more about football than you and I!

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